Reviews: Identity Thief and Side Effects

“Identity Thief, the newest magnum opus by Seth Gordon, and Side Effects, the grandest of finales by Steven Soderbergh, are cut from the exact same cloth. They are high concept genre exercises, both as ludicrous as can be. They root these concepts in contemporary “issues” in an attempt to elevate their basic goals. Identity Thief takes our current desperation due to economic turmoil and aims for laughs. Side Effects takes our current blind trust in medication and pharmaceutical companies and aims for thrills. Neither film truly works, as languid pacing prevails and talented people are generally wasted. However, Seth Gordon has a predilection for the broad, while Steven Soderbergh has a predisposition to go for the brain. Therein lies the debate: is it more offensive to watch a stupid film embrace stupidity… or to watch a stupid film so desperately pretend to be smart? Admittedly, Identity Thief had me angry at myself while sitting in the theater, but Side Effects inspired miles more frustration upon leaving. What a lovely weekend at the multiplex: a comedy with few laughs, a thriller with no thrills, and a grouchy man trying to determine which bad experience was worse.”

This comes from a piece I wrote for Movie Mezzanine. Read the rest here.

Both films:


~ by russellhainline on February 14, 2013.

One Response to “Reviews: Identity Thief and Side Effects”

  1. Thanks for sharing! I haven’t seen either of those films yet but was watching the movie trailers yesterday. I’ll wait til they arrive on Netflix. 😉 Haha!

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